York City goalkeeper Ryan Whitley has joined South Shields on a month-long loan.
The 20-year-old is a product of the Minstermen’s academy and has experience in the BetVictor Northern Premier Division from a previous loan spell at Whitby Town.
The promising stopper also played five times in National League North for York last season.
He was on the bench in the pre-season friendly between Shields and York last summer and is now excited about what the next four weeks may bring.
Whitley said: “On a personal level it’s great to join such a good club on loan.
“I’m obviously aiming to play games and to do it for a club at the top of its league will be a great experience.
“I had a good experience in this league when I was at Whitby and I’ve heard lots of good things about this club too from some of the lads at York.
“It’s a great set-up and I want to do whatever I can to help the promotion push in the time I’m here.
“I could see at the game between Shields and York in pre-season that this club had a good set-up and now I’m here, I’m looking forward to being part of that.”
Whitley could make his debut in Saturday’s league trip to Stalybridge Celtic.
Two penalties by Jordan Burrow sealed a 2-0 win for York City in a closely contested pre-season friendly at Mariners Park on Tuesday.
South Shields were bright for long spells against their National League North opponents, but a spot-kick in each half ultimately proved to be their undoing.
There were plenty of positives to take from the night for joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton.
The Mariners started well and almost took the lead in the eighth minute when a fine move was concluded with an excellent pass from Nathan Lowe into the feet of David Foley, who clipped an effort not far wide.
Lowe also sent a dipping free-kick from distance narrowly over the crossbar, while Gary Brown headed wide from a Josh Gillies corner.
The hosts’ progress was punctured on 22 minutes when Dan Maguire went down under a challenge from Brown in the area and, much to the surprise of many, the referee pointed to the spot.
Burrow rolled his spot-kick into Liam Connell’s bottom left corner to hand the Minstermen the lead.
Shields recovered in the closing stages of the first half, with an Adam Thurston effort from distance deflected into the feet of York goalkeeper Pete Jameson.
They went agonisingly close to equalising seven minutes before half-time when Lowe played in David Foley down the right and he hit a shot which struck the inside of the post before bouncing to safety.
Shields were unable to build on their momentum in the early stages of the second half as York applied some pressure.
They had a huge opportunity to double their advantage when a Kieran Green cross found the head of an unmarked Burrow, but he was only able to nod the ball wide.
Connell then made an incredible one-handed stop to keep out a Burrow header from point-blank range, and an acrobatic clearance on the line by Brown ensured Shields remained just one goal behind.
That changed in the 55nd minute, though, as Burrow stroked in his second penalty of the night following a foul by Connell on Maguire.
Connell was forced into a tremendous close range save soon after as he denied Burrow a hat-trick.
Shields freshened things up midway through the second half and were given an added impetus going forward.
New signing Jason Gilchrist had already been introduced at half-time and he showed early signs of the kind of movement the Mariners hope will make him a potent force this season.
Millenic Alli and Callum Guy were also bright sparks after they were brought on, and the two combined with 14 minutes left before Guy tested Jameson with a strike from distance.
More good play by Alli led to two efforts from Foley – one which was blocked, the other went over the bar – while a free-kick from long range by Robert Briggs went not far wide.
It was another encouraging workout for the Mariners as their preparations continue for their league-opener at Radcliffe on August 17.
Their next pre-season fixture sees them travel to Guiseley on Saturday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell (Coombe 72), Trialist (Thompson 65), Adams (c) (Charlton 69), Brown, Wokoma (Lockey 65), Turnbull (Briggs 46), Gillies (Alli 65), Lowe (Guy 69), Mason (Gilchrist 46), Thurston (Daly 46), Foley.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.
Two more fixtures have been added to South Shields’ pre-season schedule as preparations for the 2019-20 campaign continue to be stepped up.
The Mariners will travel to Boldon CA on Thursday, July 18 to compete for the Sam Bartram Memorial Cup, and will take on National League North outfit York City at Mariners Park on Tuesday, July 23.
The meeting with York will conjure fond memories for Shields supporters.
The last time the clubs faced each other, the Mariners triumphed 3-2 in a classic FA Cup tie at Mariners Park in September 2017.
Kick-off in the friendly will be at 7.30pm and admission prices will be £6 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.
Five days before that, Shields will make the short journey to Boldon CA for what has become an annual pre-season meeting.
The game will be held at The Villa (NE35 9HX), and kick-off is at 7pm. Admission prices will be £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.
The Mariners are the holders of the cup, having won 5-1 at Boldon last pre-season.
Lee Picton and Graham Fenton fielded a mixture of first-team and academy prospects in the match, and eventually ran out comfortable winners against the Wearside League outfit. A similar mixture of youth and experience is expected to be fielded in this year’s fixture.
The friendly honours South Shields-born goalkeeper Bartram, who played for Boldon Villa before going on to have a superb career with Charlton Athletic.
Bartram played for clubs including Boldon Villa and Boldon Colliery Welfare before achieving fame with Charlton Athletic, who he represented between 1934 and 1956.
During World War Two, he made guest appearances for Notts County, Bournemouth, Liverpool, Brentford, Crystal Palace, York City, Bradford and West Ham United.
He won three unofficial England caps and won the FA Cup in 1947.
Many regard him as one of the greatest goalkeepers never to win a full international cap.
Here is the pre-season schedule so far:
Thursday, July 11 – Sunderland (H), 7.30pm kick-off
Saturday, July 13 – Cleethorpes Town (H), 3pm kick-off
Wednesday, July 17 – Huddersfield Town (H), 7.30pm kick-off
Thursday, July 18 – Boldon CA (A), 7pm kick-off
Tuesday, July 23 – York City (H), 7.30pm kick-off
Saturday, July 27 – Guiseley (A), 3pm kick-off
Tuesday, July 30 – Hebburn Town (A), 7.30pm kick-off
Saturday, August 10 – Ossett United (A), 3pm kick-off